Legendary French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, whose sense of style influenced millions worldwide, has died at age 71.

His long-time associate, Pierre Berge, did not give a cause of death but said Saint Laurent had been ill for some time.

Saint Laurent was born in Algeria and entered the Parisian fashion world at age 17 after winning a design contest.

He joined the house of another legendary designer, Christian Dior, and took over when Dior died.

From the early 1960s until his retirement in 2002, the name of Yves Saint Laurent became an icon with such creations as tuxedos, pantsuits, see-through blouses, and the glamorous Rive Gauche line of ready-to-wear clothes.

The distinctive "YSL" logo can also be found on perfumes and various fashion accessories.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.